Category: chef

  • Why you shouldn’t care whether Ansible runs are re-entrant

    I recently wrote about a problem I had as a result of imagining that Ansible runs were re-entrant.  (Spoiler: they are generally not.)  After kicking this around a little I realized that you should not care whether Ansible runs are re-entrant.  I like cherry pie so I will explain myself with a pie analogy. If you […]

  • Ubuntu 14.04… apt-get install “disk full” error (aaack!)

    Recently we have been considering moving some MySQL database services from our cloud servers to Amazon RDS to simplify our management tasks, and wanted to run atop on some Ubuntu 14.04 LTS machines to get an initial sizing for RDS instances. While trying to apt-get install  the atop package, I was getting a “disk full” error, […]

  • basic_vsftpd cookbook for Chef

    Recently I was rebuilding an old “virtual user” vsFTPd server, this time using Chef.  Of course I started by looking for a decent vsftpd cookbook.   There are several popular ones, for example: The vsftpd “supermarket” cookbook might be fine for some users, but it’s not been updated since 2010, and it seems to lack a good way to override […]

  • Authenticating vsFTPd virtual users with pam_pwdfile.so

    For years, the standard way to set up password authentication for vsFTPd FTP server was to use PAM with the pam_userdb.so module.  It looks great on paper, but if you have tried this, you know that generating a Berkeley DB password file is a PITA, debugging is blind and brutal, and password file generation does not play well with automated deployments. […]

  • Deploying MediaWiki via Chef

    After deploying a few custom servers to support both Ruby and php applications, setting up a server to run MediaWiki seemed like a breeze.  And it is, sort of, so long as you know where to draw the line. It seemed plausible to create a Chef cookbook to deploy a ready-to-run MediaWiki installation.  And I […]